As you may have heard, we are planning a joint conference with our
colleagues to the north, the New England Archivists, in Spring 2015.
We first investigated Brooklyn for this big event but it proved to be
too expensive. We would have had to spend a great, great deal on food.
And, we would have received very little food in return, very expensive
crackers and water. We would not have been spending a lot of money and
getting lobster and champagne. Also, the room rate would have been at
the very highest point of what we ask you to spend. We are now
looking at Boston. Our goal is to locate an affordable city that would
be a draw to members of both organizations. We understand that for
many of you, especially those centrally located in our region, travel
costs to Boston will be higher than you usually spend. We hope that
those costs will not be prohibitive. The conference registration rates
will be comparable to what we would need to charge in any other major
At this point, we are working on a Boston hotel contract. An
important part of the contract is estimating how many sleeping rooms
MARAC will need to reserve. The number of sleeping rooms that we
obtain directly influences how much we have to spend on food, along
with whether or not there are any fees for using the meeting space.
The hotel’s sleeping room revenue, how much money is spent on food,
and whether or not there is a charge for using the meeting space are
all interrelated. They are dominoes in a circle, each falling and
hitting the other in a systematic way.
In order to get a feel for how many sleeping rooms we think we might
be using, Tammy (our administrator) will be sending out a link to a
Survey Monkey survey. Please take a few minutes to complete the
survey. Honestly let us know if you are likely to come to Boston. Not
whether or not you would like to make it to Boston, but where or not
it is realistic to think that you will. And, are you more likely to
want a double or a single room? These numbers will be very important
for us to utilize in negotiating the hotel contract. Whether or not we
fill up all the rooms we reserve in a hotel is an important economic
consideration. If we do not meet the “room block” (the number of
sleeping rooms we reserve) there is usually a financial penalty. In
other words, we have to make up what the hotel lost not selling those
rooms to someone else. We do not want to reserve more rooms than we
are likely to need, but we want to reserve enough rooms so that as
many members as possible can take advantage of the reduced conference
Thank you for your time. Oh, and please do the survey as soon as you
can, once it hits your mailbox. Much thanks and see you in Rochester!
-Mary Mannix, MARAC Vice Chair